Digilent's PYNQ-Z1 board is designed to be used with PYNQ, an open-source framework that enables embedded programmers to exploit the capabilities of Xilinx's Zynq all-programmable SoCs (APSoCs) without having to design programmable logic circuits. Instead, the APSoC is programmed using Python, and the code is developed and tested directly on the PYNQ-Z1. The programmable logic circuits are imported as hardware libraries and programmed through their APIs in essentially the same way that the software libraries are imported and programmed.
The PYNQ-Z1 board is the hardware platform for the PYNQ open-source framework. The software running on the Arm®-A9 CPUs include a web server hosting the Jupyter notebooks design environment, the IPython kernel and packages, Linux, and a base hardware library and API for the field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Xilinx's Vivado WebPACK tools are available free of cost for designers who want to extend the base system by contributing new hardware libraries.